The perfect addition to any Mexican meal, this quick and easy three cheese queso dip is prepared from scratch with cheddar, Monterey Jack, and cream cheese. Naturally vegetarian and gluten-free.
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What you’ll love about this recipe
- It so darn simple! Making this dip from scratch is extremely simple. So much so that there is really no reason you should ever purchase store-bought queso again. It requires only a handful of ingredients and takes less than ten minutes to make ready.
- It’s prepared without flour! You may be wondering why this is a big deal. There are two reasons. 1. It’s not gluten-free if it contains flour. 2. Queso prepared with roux, which is made up of fat and flour, has a tendency to be gritty. And I don’t know about you but I for one do not enjoy grainy queso. Rather than a roux base, this recipe is prepared with cream cheese resulting in the desired creamy texture.
- It’s made with fresh ingredients! It not only tastes better than the pre-prepared alternatives but is healthier too. This queso is prepared with real ingredients and it does not contain any preservatives which means it tastes much better and is, of course, fresher.
Ingredients (+ notes & substitutions)
- Butter: Since the recipe calls for so little butter either salted or unsalted will work.
- White onion: Yellow onion is also perfectly acceptable.
- Jalapenos: I leave the seeds and membranes intact but you are free to remove them if you prefer the queso to be milder.
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- Whole milk: I do not recommend using reduced-fat milk for this recipe as the fat in the milk helps keep the queso nice and creamy. Using reduced-fat milk could result in a grainy/gritty texture.
- Cream cheese: The cream cheese will melt and incorporate into the dip much more smoothly if it is warmed to room temperature first. Once again, I do not recommend reduced/low fat.
- Cheddar cheese: For maximum flavor, use sharp or extra sharp cheddar. Smoked cheddar would be a delicious alternative.
- Monterey Jack cheese: Could sub for pepper Jack if you’d like to spice it up a bit more.
- Tomatoes: Adding some diced tomatoes at the end freshens and brightens the dip.
- Cilantro: While totally optional, I highly recommend topping it off with some fresh chopped cilantro.
How do you make three cheese queso?
1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Once melted, add the onion and jalapeno and saute for three minutes. Add the garlic, salt, and black pepper and saute for another minute.
2. Add the milk and cream cheese and stir or whisk frequently until the cream cheese is fully melted and incorporated.
3. Remove from heat and add one handful of cheese at a time, stirring until melted between each addition. Removing the pan from the heat helps prevent the cheese from curdling which may result in a gritty texture. **If the cheese is not fully melting, return the saucepan to the stove over low heat.
4. Stir in the tomatoes and if desired, top with fresh chopped cilantro. Serve warm with tortilla chips.
Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to five days. Freezing is not recommended.
This queso dip is unfortunately not keto-approved as it contains dairy milk.
It absolutely is!
What to serve with queso:
- Tortilla or corn chips for dipping.
- Tacos or fajitas.
- Enchiladas like these hatch chile chicken enchiladas or these green goddess enchiladas.
- A burrito. Whether it’s on the side or smothered all over it, it’s bound to be delicious.
If you make these three cheese queso dip with cream cheese, cheddar, and Monterey Jack I’d love your feedback. Please leave a comment and/or a rating below as I greatly value your opinion. Or snap a pic and tag me on Instagram @taoofspiceblog. Love, light, and happy cooking ya’ll ♥
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup diced white onion
- 2 jalapenos, diced - for less heat remove seeds and membranes
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 1/3 cup whole milk
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temp and cubed
- 4 ounces shredded sharp or extra-sharp cheddar cheese
- 4 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese or pepper Jack cheese
- 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
- Chopped cilantro (optional)
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Once melted, add the onion and jalapeno and saute for three minutes. Add the garlic, salt, and black pepper and saute for another minute.
- Add the milk and cream cheese and stir or whisk frequently until the cream cheese is fully melted and incorporated.
- Remove from heat and add one handful of cheese at a time, stirring until melted between each addition.
- Stir in the tomatoes and if desired, top with fresh chopped cilantro. Serve warm with tortilla chips.
Storage: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to five days.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 285Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 70mgSodium: 345mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 11g
The nutritional information provided is computer generated. It is only an estimate and intended for informational purposes only. Nutrition details may vary depending on various factors such as origin, freshness of ingredients, etc